Astronomy vacation ideas

Shedding new light on destinations

Solar eclipses may only last a few minutes but they provide a glorious spur to create lifelong memories around the sky show. And they take place in a host of diverse, distinctive spots. NASA may have used the arid Atacama Desert to stand-in for Mars but their earthly vistas are just as awesome - even once the eclipse has passed. Think salt plains, granite towers. icy fjords and glacial fields beneath star-spangled heavens.

Away from the city lights, the night sky sheds a spotlight on the universe.

Getting starry-eyed

Eclipses are rare daytime wonders but the night sky offers year-round dazzling spectacle. Get away from light pollution and an infinity of stars magically become visible. Seeing the silvery smear of our own galaxy, the Milky Way, for the first time is humbling and magical. Learn too about the heavens' brightest stars – Sirius, Vega, Aldebaran, Rigel – plus other galaxies and passing meteors.

Our top Eclipse Vacation

Best of the American West and annula eclipse vacation

Best of the American West and annula eclipse vacation

View an annular eclipse while exploring western USA

From US $3690 to US $4260 10 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2023: 8 Oct, 10 Oct
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Eclipse or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

It's far from grim up North

The Northern Lights come imbued by ancient myth. The Inuit thought they were the souls of the dead, while Nordic folklore saw them as the spirits of unmarried maidens. Science more reliably pinpoints speeding solar particles arcing down Earth's polar magnetic fields to smash into upper atmosphere atoms, energising them into the aurora's shimmering green, violet and magenta hues.

The winter landscapes of Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden frame auroral displays like nowhere else on Earth. Some of Europe's most dramatic mountains reach up to touch the shimmering celestial curtain, while Iceland's jet black lava fields provide dramatic contrast. Dark fjords, vast gleaming snowfields or glistening blue glaciers present mesmerising Nordic mirrors to the sky. Each place has favoured spots far from light and people. Peak sightings occur in the depths of winter but displays can occur from October to April.
Astronomy turns the sky into a brilliant classroom.

Dazzling science

You can learn a lot gazing upward with an open mind as well as open eyes. Ask the experts on astronomy trips and eclipses become lessons in celestial mechanics, while Northern Lights colourfully illustrate the physics of atoms, magnetic fields and electric charge. The panoply of major stars and the Milky Way reveal the awesome truths of cosmic distance, brightness and multitude, whether seen from a Spanish peak, African plain or Saharan desert.
Written by Norman Miller
Photo credits: [Page banner: James Niland] [Shedding new light on destinations: Andreas Kambanis] [Getting starry-eyed : Thomas Ciszewski] [It's far from grim up North: David Becker]